New image of London Bridge Station revealed


This is a brand new image of the redeveloped bus interchange at London Bridge, due for completion in 2011.

The old PwC building at London Bridge station is currently being demolished, to make way for the UK's tallest building - the Shard. And economic woes be damned, because this project's got Middle East money behind it and pre-let agreements for the hotel floors and much of the office space. So it is happening.

Part of the works involve tearing down the entrance hall and bus station at London Bridge and replacing it with this shiny new one. Admittedly, it's quite hard to tell what the new designs will look like (they were subject to a bit of revision by the government's design advisers CABE) but it is guaranteed to be a hundred times better than the grubby brown wind tunnel that currently does the job.

This project is separate to the redevelopment of the rest of the station, which is taking place as part of the Thameslink project.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not sure why they have to demolish the PwC building - that's on the other side of the tracks (the ones for platforms 1-6) from where the Shard is shown on that image. According to that, the Shard is actually being built on top of the concourse! Is that right?

Looks very nice, I must say. Big improvement.

Monkeyboy said...

I'm doing some Thameslink related work. Hope the work at London Bridge is going better than the rest of the project....sigh work sucks.

By the way, my TfL moles are telling me that budgets are squeezed (hardly inside knowledge, but woteva) the ELL is obviously safe but cheques still need to be signed for Crossrail and all the carefully constructed business plans are looking a little unwell in the current climate.

Some enabling and survey works are happening but the big contracts are yet to be signed. Does not affect Brockers directly but will affect Woolwich. My CV is poised to be sent to Crossrail IF and WHEN the big money is released.

The Cat Man said...

Anon, PWC have a number of buildings in the area, including the one underneath the shard site (a horrible brown/concrete tower). They also have the building next to London Bridge itself, some floors in Hsays Galleria and of course a large site at More London Place.

Ive been in the Brown/Concrete tower many times, its nasty, but ive been in much worse places for some of my clients!

Tamsin said...

"Looks very nice" - it's ghastly! And will be like Canary Wharf was until it gathered friends around it - totally out of proportion and an utter monstrosity. And if it does generate other buildings of of a similar size it will utterly ruin the views of St. Paul's and Central London from Telegraph Hill, One Tree Hill, Hilly Fields etc. (But then, of course, all the planners and government are in Islington or the Home Counties and could not give a monkeys.

Why are architects always on such an ego trip that they have to make "iconic" statements? They are not even half-way decent engineers now (leaving the tricky bits to others) - witness the fiasco of the Olympic Aqua centre.

And how much disruption will we suffer while they re-build London Bridge? It was totally re-vamped less than 20 years ago - should not need it again.

Anonymous said...

Looks fantastic - can't wait to turn up there every day. The existing one really is quite grubby.

Brockley Nick said...

Oh tamsin please!

It's directly opposite the city of london, where there are numerous tall buildings and more on the way. And it's arguably the finest tall building under construction anywhere in the world right now - certainly the equal of the gherkin. I fail to see how it will ruin any of the views you mention - it is not in any sensitive viewing corridors and st paul's grandeur is enhanced by the contrast with modernity, not diminished. If anything the shard is reminiscent of the spires canaletto was so fond of.

I don't think anyone could accuse hadid (the pool architect)of not understanding engineering, she certainly pushes boundaries of what's technically possible...

Finally, london bridge?! You can't be serious, it's the most decrepit of the major london stations and whatever makeover they managed 20 years ago was clearly a patch up job. Besides, the point of thameslink is to allow more through journeys across london. I don't think serious disruption is expected.

welcome to 2008 said...

Tamsin what do you want it to be in "proportion" to? The hideous Guy's hospital?

Why should it be in proportion to anything? What's the eiffel tower in proportion to? What was st paul's in proportion to when it was built?

Hugh said...

Get that mutha up.

Tamsin said...

No - I want Guys Hospital to go! At present if you know exactly what to look for I can see from my back windows the finials at either end of St. Paul's with the strange thing that looks like a dog smoking from one ear bang splat over where the dome is!

I don't know what you regard as sensitive viewing corridors but I quite like the view of St. Pauls from the top of Telegraph Hill Park, and laying out a ruler on my ordnance survey a building like this to the west of London Bridge station is bang in line to block it. It is not really opposite the City of London, but about ten degrees further West and 20% closer. It will have a very nasty impact on the views from Telegraph Hill and Nunhead, although, I agree, less so from Hilly Fields.

No, I wasn't serious about London Bridge Station but the disruption last time was awful and I would anticipate the same again.

Tamsin said...

Actually - looking again at the mock up picture - I had it in my mind in the wrong place. Sorry! It is not our views of St. Pauls that will be blocked but those from the tourist mecca of the statue of General Wolf in Greenwich. In some ways even worse!

Pre-let offices and hotels are surely no guarantees of occupancy in these uncertain times and what about the inexorable move eastwards debated on an earlier blog?

ALI KATI said...

Looks kinda pointy at the top. Hope some drunk pigeon doesn't get impaled.

Brockley Nick said...

the building is south of the station and I don't believe it will block views of st paul's from general woolfe. Those same views that draw tourists by the thousands point directly at canary wharf of course...

The pre-let office is with tfl and the pre-let hotel is shangri-la, another rock solid investor, that is their entry in to the London market. It's happening.

And this is in SE1, it's a key part of the eastwards move - bringing new offices and a seven star hotel to a spot that is currently occupied by a multi storey car park. It will be a stunning juxtaposition with Borough market, southwark cathedral and victoriana. The clash of styles is what makes london london.

but anyway, the point of the article was about the new station facilities that come with it, not the virtues of the tower itself.

Tamsin said...

Its for catching parachutists.

Actually, I think I will have to back-track on what I said about Greenwich as well. Looking at this http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/55/Greenwich_pano.jpg/1400px-Greenwich_pano.jpg&imgrefurl=http://en.wikipedia.org/%3Ftitle%3DLondon&h=301&w=1400&sz=102&hl=en&start=14&sig2=J9QoOGm9Somw4XVIm5LbyQ&usg=__6mVLdyxM486BBE3JPoOGDbRnEcM=&tbnid=LqFfpS8PUMsPwM:&tbnh=32&tbnw=150&ei=7-TjSLmUFJHeQOTFsNoK&prev=/images%3Fq%3DThe%2Bshard%2BLondon%2BGreenwich%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG from the Observatory St. Pauls is framed by Tower Bridge and the Shard will be a tad further round. But I still don't like it - and the huge segment of a circle next to it is even worse.

Tamsin said...

And I hated Canary Wharf at the time - especially when it was on its own as a towering monolith - the way it peered over the trees at you driving across Blackheath... As I said, not so bad now it has other things of similar proportions next to it - although it remains an unfortunate back-drop to the Queen's House.

Having been wasting my time looking around at other pictures of the Shard since we started this conversation it actually is probably something that can stand alone like, as was said earlier, the Eiffel Tower.

We lived in Eltham when the work was being done last time on London Bridge and it was not good - you didn't know from one week-end to the next whether and where trains would be running. When is it due to start - I hope after we have the East London Line back. But with non-joined up thinking there is no guarantee of that. Getting anywhere over the summer was dire with the DLR (the only alternative to those totally unable to get on trains at NXG) being upgraded at the same time as the ELL had gone.

veggiegirl said...

I used to work for PwC -- certainly don't remember "a number of buildings" in the area. I guess that Southwark Towers is the one to go.

No. 1 London Bridge, the brown one right next to London Bridge, hasn't been in PwC's hands for some years now.

Anonymous said...

They got paid to move out apparently - so I guess cost isn't an issue here.

I'm curious, what's the thing that looks like a dog smoking out of one ear?

The Cat Man said...

eh?

Tamsin said...

Guy's Hospital, with what I have been given to understand is a lecture theatre right at the top that juts out - and to my mind the effect is like one of those chunky faced dogs. (Which probably says more than I should disclose in public about my mind...)

fabhat said...

Brockley Nick, I have a friend working on the olympic aqua project - and suffice to say my deep throat says there are an enormous number of problems and mistakes that have happened along the way. They have found hadid's office a nightmare to deal with - but that might just be the people around her. My mole is deeply cynical about success of the building...

But I do like the shard - and think it will make the entrance and environs of London Bridge rather magnificent. As for the top of guys tower I thought it contains the maternity ward (or it used to?) and I love the idea of seeing those views as some distraction to the pain of childbirth...

Anonymous said...

Not so nice for the office workers who would resultantly be looking down into someone's dilated flange as they await the onset of labour. Swings and roundabouts eh!

Brockley Nick said...

@Fabhat - to clarify, I'm sure the building has all sorts of problems and I wouldn't dispute that. I just thought it was daft to say that there aren't any good engineers any more - when you try and do really difficult engineering jobs, you're often going to experience problems. It doesn't mean the engineers are incompetent, it just means that they are trying to build something that was once thought unbuildable. Tamsin cited Wren's St Paul's as a work of beauty, well here's a quote from a Times article about Hadid:

"But innovation and ambition never come cheap in architecture. Just read what Wren’s exasperated contemporaries thought about him. Hadid is not merely designing buildings, she is reimagining domestic, corporate and public space."

Anonymous said...

Gaudiesque.

fabhat said...

Brockley Nick - I agree - great ideas don't come easily - I've just heard a lot of grumbling recently from the friend on the project - and thought I'd share! I think it's also important to be using serious architects for these projects for the olympics - if we're going to pay for these things, they should be interesting and lasting buildings...

Tamsin said...

I wasn't saying that there are no good engineers. There are, and they achieve the near impossible. My comment was that concept architecture is divorced from the engineering side. The architects have the beautiful ideas (and get all the credit and kudos from them) but chuck the engineering problems to the poor sods of engineers to deal with. Martha and Mary all over again.

Fabhat - you would well be right about the maternity ward on the top of Guys. And you are certainly right about having a nice view. I gave birth on the top floor of Kings and looking out of the window at 5am between contractions remember seeing someone climb over the wall of the neighbouring gardens, presumably with nefarious intent. Not much I could do about it, though, just watch and be amused.

The Cat Man said...

Tamsin,

I think there is an element of truth to what you are saying as architects are more 'customer facing' and actually customers would prefer to deal with 'architects' rather than engineers (who in the traditional sense of the job are more technicratic and possess the wrong communication skills to deal with a customer lay person).

I think in recent times, there tends to be much more team briefings so, for example, the customer would meet with the engineer and architect etc.. at the same time, with the person with the best communication skills leading the meeting. The engineer would certainly have an input, even at a high level and especially for important projects such as this.

In terms of bargaining power directly between an architect and an engineer, then I think it really does depend on the individuals in concern who has the upper hand. My father was an engineer by trade, but he was able to be heard at very high levels in the civil service (before it was privatised) and even afterwards.

jon s said...

The architect is the salesperson and the engineer is the poor sod that has to deliver. An age old conflict, nothing more, nothing less.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that everything the Cat Man posts is infused with the sense of utter bullshit? He really is an expert in absolutely nothing. His posts don't even feel like they come from an adult. Very strange...

Anonymous said...

Richard Rodgers not available for this then?

Anonymous said...

An engineer in what Catman? You claim to be the first in your family to go to university

Tressilliana said...

To be fair, 'engineer' covers a wide range of jobs. Even a chartered engineer would not have taken a degree until comparatively recently, I think - they would have trained on the job as chartered accountants used to.

The Cat Man said...

Ignore the anon who has a chip on his/her shoulder. He/she obviously does not know much about anything really (other than to yell abuse at other bloggers!)

Anonymous said...

Quite, don't let it put you off Cat man, everyone looks forward to reading your posts on this blog.

creepylesbo said...

And it still doesn't solve the problem of the hurrican winds down St Thomas Street next to the stupid building...

Anonymous said...

The secret is to go the scenic route - via Tooley Street. Less windy down there.

Brockley Nick said...

Creepy - i think it will probably significantly reduce that problem actually. They (architects and engineers) are much better at modelling and alleviating downdrafts and I'm sure if you look through the planning documents and design statements there will be a lot of detail about that issue.

patrick1971 said...

It will definitely be interesting to see how this works out. To my non-technical eye, the structure looks really unstable at the bottom, like it's supported on matchsticks. I do share some of Tamsin's concerns about size, and I guess I'm always a bit wary about huge development like this; Elephant & Castle was lauded in its day and look what it's like now.

Still, London Bridge definitely needs a revamp and a capacity increase, so that side of it is all good. Tamsin, was it only 20 years ago that it was done? The style is very 1970s, I would have said at least 30 years ago. And at least now we have the Internet so we can check on engineering works before we travel...

Monkeyboy said...

you'll notice loads of double deckers and NO bendys.

By the way, I used to get the 521 from london Bridge to Holborn. I thought it was a great service. Apparently it's going to be one of the first route's where bendys will be scrapped. will be interesting to see if the double deckers can cope.

Tamsin said...

You're right, Patrick, it was more like 30 years ago - around 1980.

bbewk said...

I hope they sort the problems of regularly having to sit, not moving on inbound trains just outside L Bridge station waiting for a free platform.

patrick1971 said...

They're not really going to get rid of the bendys on route 521, are they? That route is incredibly busy; I used to use it when I worked at Holborn Circus. It will take ages to load and unload from a standard double decker. The buses they had on the 521 before the bendys were cattle trucks - just open coaches with about four seats in them.

Anonymous said...

Don't get rid of the bendies - they're great for a bonus free lift home after a night out!

G said...

Looks bloody awful. Glass and steel, how original. Skyscrapers, toys for the big-ego architect boys (and girls). Besides, a building that tall simply won't be affordably serviceable in a few years what with oil scarcity. It will be abandoned and lie derelict, a massive monument to our hubris and lack of foresight. Ozymandias etc...

drakefell debaser said...

They said the same thing to Sir Christopher Wren - not bloody arches and marble again Chris, you used that idea loads already!

Not sure what future oil prospects have to do with its serviceability post completion though.

Anonymous said...

...or the eqyptians."

"do you really need THREE pyramids? Bloody egomaniac, whats wrong with a nice little tomb up in the Valley of The Kings like uncle Tut?"

tyrwhitt michael said...

Nice anecdote except the Pyramids pre-dated King Tut by 1200 years....

Yes I know no-one likes a smart -arse

Pete said...

It obviously divides opinion but I really like it. I think it will also further catalyse the redevelopment of that part of London.

It isn't quite as impressive (or as crazy) as the tower that they are planning in Dubai that is going to be over 1km tall...

Anonymous said...

Damn you and your amateur Egyptology related knowledge!

(for the record I quite like the pointy tower)

neanderthal d said...

London Bridge Train Station, on a Sunday Morning, at about 8am, in February, when coming back from an all night party is way up there with the most desolate locations in Central London.

Instant tristesse and a long wait for a train as your aching jaws yawn and you shiver in the biting winds, as you try to keep your bleary eyes open long enough to propel your stiffening legs somewhere near a train that'll take you home.

Not so much "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers as "Decades" by Joy Division.

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